5 Ways to Access Websites That Won’t Load

Chris Hoffman 24-02-2012

websites that won't loadHave you ever clicked a link and seen an error page, or revisited a bookmarked website and found it’s closed up shop? We’ve all been there. The good news is that you can view the website anyway, whether it’s buckled under an onslaught of traffic or was taken down three years ago.


Google, the Coral Content Distribution Network and’s Wayback Machine all take snapshots of webpages, allowing you to view the cached version. If you want to speed up the process, you can also use a browser extension or a bookmarklet on your browser’s bookmarks toolbar.

Google Cache

Google Cache, which we’ve covered along with other Google search hacks The 5 Coolest Google Search Hacks You Probably Never Realized Existed Search results are only as good as the query you enter! While there are many operands or search operators that the general crowd is aware of, such as quotes or some calculations, there are several... Read More , is a quick way to view a misbehaving website. Google’s cache links used to be front and center on its search page, but they’re now hidden behind an arrow that appears when you hover over a search result.

websites that won't load

There’s a faster way to access cached pages that you may not be aware of. Just type cache: into the search box, followed by the address of the webpage you want to access.

sites that won't load


Google doesn’t cache images, so you may need to use the Text-only version link.

sites that won't load

Bing users aren’t left out. Bing has a Cached page link hidden behind an arrow, too.

sites that won't load


Coral CDN

The Coral content distribution network is ideal for accessing websites that are down due to a high amount of traffic — maybe they’ve been linked to on Slashdot or Reddit 10 Websites Where Cool Computer Geeks Reside Geeks were once ridiculed and reviled. Or perhaps that was just at my school. Either way, as first computers hit the mainstream, and then the Internet entered into our lives in a big way, geeks... Read More .

Using it is as simple as adding to the domain name of a website or webpage. So, if you want to access MakeUseOf’s homepage through it, you’d use ““. If you wanted to access the MakeUseOf post I just linked to, you’d use “

non-loading web page

If this sounds a bit complicated, don’t worry – you can also access the Coral CDN homepage and plug in a website or webpage address.


non-loading web page

The Wayback Machine

We’ve covered’s Wayback Machine extensively The New Wayback Machine Lets You Visually Travel Back In Internet Time It seems that since the Wayback Machine launch in 2001, the site owners have decided to toss out the Alexa-based back-end and redesign it with their own open source code. After conducting tests with the... Read More in the past. Not only is it a way to view a website that won’t load, it’s a way to travel back in time and view what websites used to look like. This tool is indispensable if you’re trying to access a website that’s been down for a while, or view a specific page that’s been removed.

Visit the homepage, plug in a website address and click Take Me Back.

non-loading web page


The Wayback Machine presents you with snapshots taken on various dates. You can view the most recent snapshot, or even view the oldest one.

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Here’s what MakeUseOf looked like back in 2006, an almost-empty page with a “Hello world!” post. Ah, websites – they grow up so fast.

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Browser Extensions

Better yet, have a browser extension do the work for you.

Resurrect Pages is a popular Firefox add-on that makes your error pages more useful with links to these services.

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Google Chrome already shows a link to the Google cache on its error page, assuming a Google cache result is available. Web Cache and similar extensions add small menus with links to these services.

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Bookmarklets 6 Bookmarklets That Will Boost Your Web Surfing Speed and Productivity Bookmarklets are unsuspicious little helpers that sit in your browser's bookmarks bar. Unlike your regular bookmarks, they don't archive a URL, rather bookmarklets are small java applets with a one-click functionality. There are hundreds of... Read More  are little links that you can drag and drop onto your bookmarks toolbar. When you click the link, the bookmarklet runs a tiny bit of JavaScript code that performs and action on the current page, such as loading it in one of these services. They’re like browser extensions, but they work in every popular browser and don’t take up any system resources. They even work in Internet Explorer.

You can find bookmarklets for the Wayback Machine on its main page, the Coral Cache on its plug-ins page and the Google Cache on unofficial websites. Drag and drop the bookmarklet link from the page onto your bookmarks toolbar.

websites that won't load

If you don’t see the bookmark bar, you’ll have to enable it. On Chrome, click the wrench menu, point to Bookmarks and click Show Bookmarks Bar. Firefox users can right-click their toolbar and select Bookmarks Toolbar. Internet Explorer users should right-click their toolbar and click Favorites Bar.

What do you do when a website doesn’t load? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Warning Sign Icon via Shutterstock

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  1. Angie
    May 2, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Really helpful, thank you so much!

  2. Daniel Bakovic
    February 25, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Nice tips. Thx.
    I didn't know "The Wayback Machine". It's awesome! :)

    • Chris Hoffman
      February 26, 2012 at 6:31 am

      It definitely is awesome. It's great for accessing websites that have been taken down, or just for nostalgia.

  3. Android Developer
    February 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Nice tips mate! Was only aware about cache rest techniques share are something new to me.

    • Chris Hoffman
      February 26, 2012 at 6:31 am

      Glad I could share!

  4. Lunar calendar
    February 25, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Nice tips

  5. Spenditallby-2012
    February 25, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Cool, thanks!

  6. Joel Lee
    February 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I pretty much use Google Cache exclusively. It works well enough 99% of the time, so I haven't had a need to find an alternative.

    The Coral CDN workaround is new to me, though, and it sounds really cool. I hope I can remember it the next time I need to visit a downed page!

    • Chris Hoffman
      February 26, 2012 at 6:32 am

      Google Cache is definitely great. But every now and then, there's a link to a page that hasn't existed for years, so the cache isn't good enough.